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Open mike 22/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 22nd, 2013 - 150 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

150 comments on “Open mike 22/08/2013”

  1. Tom 1

    Morgan Poll New Zealand Update

    Labour/ Greens 48% (up 9%) surge ahead of National Party 44% (down 7%)

    Economic Issues are still easily the most important problems facing New Zealand (51%)

    Labour/ Greens 48% (up 9%) surge ahead of National Party 44% (down 7%) [http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5113-new-zealand-voting-intention-august-2013-201308200137]

    Labour/ Greens 48% (up 9%) surge ahead of National Party 44% (down 7%) as Parliament debates contentious GCSB ‘Spying’ Bill [http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5113-new-zealand-voting-intention-august-2013-201308200137]

    Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a plunge in support for Prime Minister John Key’s National Party to 44% (down 7% since July 15-28, 2013). Support for Key’s Coalition partners has changed little with the Maori Party 2% (up 0.5%), ACT NZ 0.5% (down 0.5%) and United Future 0% (unchanged).

    Support for Labour has increased to 34% (up 5%); Greens are 14% (up 4%) – their highest level of support since August 2012, New Zealand First 3% (down 1%), Mana Party 0.5% (down 0.5%), Conservative Party of NZ 1% (down 0.5%) and Others 1% (unchanged).

    If a National Election were held now the latest NZ Roy Morgan Poll shows that a Labour/ Greens alliance would win.

    The latest NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is virtually unchanged at 128 (down 0.5%) with 58% (down 0.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 30% (unchanged) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

    Gary Morgan says:

    “Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll contains good news for the Opposition Labour (34%, up 5%) and Greens (14%, up 4%) – now at their highest level of combined support in four months since early April 2013 [http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/national-party-down-labour-gains-201305290207]. The Greens have jumped to their highest level of support in a year since August 2012 [http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/finding-4810-201302130413].

    “The huge swings in support come as the contentious GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) ‘Spying’ Bill is heavily debated in Parliament. The Bill, which will increase the Government’s powers of surveillance over all New Zealand citizens, has faced strong opposition in Parliament. Prime Minister John Key has insisted on the importance of passage of the bill in the fight against terrorism claiming there are people living in New Zealand who had been trained by Al-Qaeda.

    “Opposition to the bill is not just inside Parliament, with the Law Society saying there are ‘fundamental flaws in the GCSB Bill’ that minor adjustments insisted on by Independent MP Peter Dunne for his support do not alter.”

    View New Zealand Political Reports [http://www.roymorganonlinestore.com/Browse/New-Zealand/Economic,-Political-and-Social.aspx]

    Economic Issues are still easily the most important problems facing New Zealand (51%) [http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5111-new-zealand-issues-august-2013-201308200005]

    Economic Issues are still easily the most important problems facing New Zealand (51%) and facing the World (45%) according to New Zealanders [http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5111-new-zealand-issues-august-2013-201308200005]

    Economic issues are clearly the most important issue facing New Zealand and the World today and since surveying began in November 2010 according to the latest Roy Morgan Research conducted in July 2013.

    New Zealand views on Problems facing New Zealand

    When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand, Economic issues are mentioned by 51% (up 5% since May 2013) well ahead of Social issues (18%, unchanged), Government and Public Policy Issues (14%, down 2%) and Environmental issues (7%, up 1%).

    The most important Economic issues facing New Zealand include Poverty /Gap between the Rich and the Poor (15%, up 6%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar (13%, unchanged), Unemployment/ Job security (13%, down 2%) and the Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt (7%, up 3%).

    Another important issue mentioned by New Zealanders is the Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending (7%, down 2%). Important Social Issues according to New Zealanders are Social Apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance (4%, up 1%) and Racism/ Racial tension (3%, up 1%).

    Michele Levine says, CEO Roy Morgan says:

    “This latest NZ Roy Morgan Issues Research shows that Economic issues dominate concerns facing both New Zealand (51%, up 5%) and the World (45%, up 10%).

    “The dominant Economic issues facing New Zealand are Poverty/ Gap between the Rich and Poor (15%, up 6%), Unemployment/ Job Security (13%, down 2%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar (13%, unchanged) and Cost of Living/ Increasing Prices/ Financial Hardship/ Household Debt (7%, up 3%).

    “Other important issues facing New Zealand include Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending (7%, down 2%), Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of empathy toward others/ Intolerance (4%, up 1%), Racism/ Racial tension (3%, up 1%), Housing shortages/ Housing affordability (3%, up 1%) and Natural Disasters/ Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic eruptions (3%, up 2%).

    “When asked about World issues, the most important Economic issues are Poverty/ The gap between the Rich and the Poor/ Imbalance of wealth (17%, up 7%) Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession (15%, up 4%), Over-population (4%, unchanged) and Unemployment/ Job Security (4%, unchanged).

    “The next most important issues facing the World are Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy toward others/ Intolerance (7%, up 1%), Wars & Conflicts/ Unrest (7%, down 3%), Climate Change/ Global Warming/ Ozone Layer/ Greenhouse Effect (6%, unchanged), Religion/ Religious Conflict (4%, unchanged) and Government/ Politicians/ Political unrest/ Instability/ Greedy and Corrupt Governments (4%, down 1%).”

    View New Zealand Economic & Social Reports [http://www.roymorganonlinestore.com/Browse/New-Zealand/Economic,-Political-and-Social.aspx]

    View all latest findings [http://www.roymorgan.com/]

    • Jenny 1.1

      As this seems to be a preoccupation of this government

      What percentage of New Zealanders were concerned about terrorism?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        The elite always need to scare the wider public about “threats” in order to convince us that we must cede even more power and authority to them. For our own good, you understand.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Um, why the copypasta?

      • weka 1.2.1

        Yeah, and the ugly links.

        This is the poll from two days ago, what does it mean ‘update’?

  2. Paul 3

    Emmerson this morning.
    Cartoon: Back to sleep, NZ
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news-cartoons/news/article.cfm?c_id=500814&objectid=11112286

    Or will this make NZers come out of their apathy?

  3. ScottGN 4

    The GCSB Bill passed 61-59. Apparently the Maori Party didn’t bother to have sufficient members in the House so they could only cast 2 of their 3 votes against the bill? Sums up their time in office perfectly it seems to me.

    • yeshe 4.1

      They have cast only two votes at each of the readings. No-one seems to have an answer as to why. Inability to be in the precinct three times ? Abstention ? Who knows.

    • veutoviper 4.2

      Read my comment at 7.3 of the Shame post.

      The most probable reason was the Parliament rules on absence from the Parliament precinct of one or more members of the MP. It happens frequently with the MP that they only cast two not three votes – not just on the GCSB Bill.

      Abstentions from voting must be recorded and none were recorded last night in the final vote, or as far as I am aware (having been following this closely) in the votes in the various hearings and votes on parts of the Bill.

      I am not a great fan of the MP, but I also don’t like to see anyone slagging of at someone without finding out the facts/probable reasons. Flavell gave a very empassioned speech in the final stages last night against the Bill and why the MP opposed it.

  4. (if you were pissed off about the $30 something million in cash handout to rio tinto..and were wondering about the value of that latest ‘secret’ power-subsidy to rio tinto..and exactly how much in total they had managed to screw out of a compliant key/corporate-slave govt…?

    ..well..wonder no more..figures revealed this morning show the total corporate-handout to rio tinto..was over $500 million..

    ..ka-ching..!..eh..?..i’ll bet the bubbles flowed at rio tinto hq after that one..eh..?..it’ll be big-bonus time..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2013/ed-ka-ching-the-full-extent-of-the-corporate-handout-from-john-key-to-rio-tinto-one-of-the-richestmost-profitable-earth-wasting-conglomerates-on-the-planet-is-revealed-and-if-you-were-up/

    ..get angry..get really angry..eh..?

    phillip ure..

  5. Wairua 6

    Paul: Emmerson is probably right – but I did a double take when I saw a strange online news image yesterday. I looked again .. it was Shearer smiling.

  6. logie97 7

    Collins is “chilled” at the thought that the Henry commission could have invaded her privacy, or any MP’s for that matter. Yet she is countenancing the government’s recent move to be able to trawl across thousands and thousands of ordinary citizens. Chilling isn’t it? Don’t you love the Holier than Thou.

    • amirite 7.1

      It’s just her and her peers’ sadistic rubbing it in to the masses who will not be protected from unwarranted snooping.

  7. karol 8

    There’s some Standard tech issues for me this morning. The mainpage looks totally different – mobile view? Open mic give the usual webpage view.

    I log in, and get the dashboard with author access. But when I click back to “visit site”, I am no longer logged in.

    PS: No wait. I am logged in as with this comment.

    • lprent 8.1

      Drat. Testing a page cache. It isn’t distinguishing the mobile and logged in states.

      • Chris 8.1.1

        Is there a way to reply to messages on the mobile version? I’m assuming there is and I’m just missing something really obvious because I can’t figure it out.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          Apparently there’s not.

        • lprent 8.1.1.2

          On my list of things to finish. It wasn’t supported in the most useful theme of latest version of the mobile code.

          It is getting pretty high on my list of things to do because it affects the flow of comments.

          For anyone interested, the technical problem is that there is only one comment edit form on the screen. The reply link just moves it to div that the comment you are replying to and changes a few parameters in the form. However it is quite specific to the layout of the HTML ids. So I have to set up a development environment at home to do all of this on chrome on my desktop. When I think I have it correct, I have to test on my two android devices, and then plead the use from Lyn of her two iOS devices to test on those.

          I figure I will get it done on the weekend. Then ship the fix back to BraveNewCode

      • weka 8.1.2

        I was getting it yesterday and I don’t login. I’ve had to re-enter my name and email a few times in order to post.

  8. did i just get a glimpse of a new standard format/layout..?

    ..if so..(blush..!)..i see you are using the same single-column-scrolling format that i have clung to for so long..(battling the vicissitudes of fashion),,

    ..as this is a format that was first used..then abandoned..and then returned to.. by the likes of salon/slate..

    ..they returned..and i have stayed..because of the simplicity of use for the user..

    (for want of a better name..i call it scroll ‘n click’..and of course the proliferation of hand-held devices makes this format all the more appealing..)

    .if that is your new format-call..congratulations..the simplicity and ease of use will be appreciated by yr readers..i reckon..

    ..phillip ure

    • lprent 9.1

      Sounds like the mobile version for phones and tablets. There is a new page caching system in place. Drat- looks like it served up the wrong page. Time to shift the mobile theme to m.thestandard.org.nz

  9. Huginn 10

    From the Financial Times:

    US military tested using Twitter to profile civilians in anti-terror scheme

    By Carola Hoyos in London and April Dembosky in San Francisco

    The US military was able to create detailed dossiers on people through Twitter in eight-day experiment called Quantum Leap

    Read the full article at: http://on.ft.com/19xoMvF

  10. xtasy 11

    Dear Standardistas, this is DAMNED important, similarly to the GCSB saga, this is stuff that ALL beneficiaries should know, and those that care for them definitely should bother to read and study, and SHARE, this is NOT a joke:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15188-medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-bps-model-aimed-at-disentiteling-affected-from-welfare-benefits-and-acc-compo/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

    The assault or attack on beneficiaries was declared by Paula Bennett as early as 2009 , certainly by 2010, and her government has us all, and I am one of you, black, brown, yellow or whatever fucking ethnicity, or cultural backgroud, targeted, to CULL us off the benefits. I appeal to you guys and girls, get a wake up call, read up, study what someone has spent months working on, for your damned sake, to support and assist you guys, to protect and warn you, as it will be a dangerous war path in future, to even dare walking into the doors of WINZ, thank you. Stand strong, tall and take em on, and join together to defend your rights, they are taking them off you bit by bit, day and night.

    Salute, all the best, the fight has just started Viva – Xtasy

    • karol 11.1

      Yes. The fight for social security and against the war on the poor and wealth/income gap still goes on.

      Thanks for the info, xtasy.

      • JK 11.1.1

        Yes. Its horrible, scarey stuff Xtasy and Karol. Sue Bradford also has an article about it on The Daily Blog. Oh ….. we’re becoming an awful mean nation … and its so unnecessary. If Govt/NZ
        official thinking was turned around and people HELPED rather than be penalised more, then we WOULD have a well-educated people working together and making this country much more productive than it is now.

    • weka 11.2

      As someone reasonably well informed about the issues, I find that information on the accforum hard to follow. The author has acknowledged the problems with formatting, but I think there are issues with information overload, and how the information is being presented. Many people on medical benefits would find it hard to read through that and get what they need from it. It might be better presented on a wordpress blog format, with articles separated out and searchable, and with clear titles etc.

      For instance, this title


      ‘The Health and Disability Panel’ and its hand-picked Members, who advised the M.S.D. and Paula Bennett on welfare reforms, and thus the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act’:

      Could instead be

      The Health and Disability Panel

      or

      The Role of the Health and Disability Panel

      • xtasy 11.2.1

        weka you have a point, I think, but these are really complex matters, so it is not headline stuff, and that is of course what the media love. How are you going to explain the communist revolution and take-over in China for instance, to lay persons? Is it going to be the reds hiding in the caves, then coming out and taking over? It is absurd. The problem is, most NZers are “lazy” and do not bother to read or study anything, and I had students like that staying with me!

        So to learn and understand, I am afraid, some effort needs to be made. Sadly most want a quick fix!

        • weka 11.2.1.1

          I suppose it depends on who those articles are aimed at. I think it’s very important that beneficiaries can access this information, so would prefer to see it presented in a more easily read way.

          • xtasy 11.2.1.1.1

            Weka – while you may have a point with your well meant criticism, the writer clearly did not just want to take a kind of advocacy position expressing support for the cause of helping beneficiaries, there is more that needs to be considered.

            The ones like UK professor Mansel Aylward, like Gordon Waddell, Kim Burton and others, also including local Dr David Bratt (WINZ Principal Health Advisor), the New Zealand follower of these ill proved ideas and policies based on the somewhat perverted form of the “bio psycho-social model”, are sadly not “light-weights”. Also are the politicians in the government, who have taken up these approaches and brought in these hideous “reforms” sadly not “light weights”.

            Clearly the writer, being aware of this, and knowing that arguments based on supposed “scientific” and “medical research” are being used, has seen the need to present counter evidence, alternative reports and the likes, same as many links to such scientific reports, media reports and more.

            If the intention would have been to simply write up something for the affected beneficiaries, it could have been done with a more condensed, shorter presentation. But that would allow anyone to too easily criticise it as mere opinion or whatever.

            The exposure of flaws and untruths and half-truths must be done with presenting sufficient, clear evidence, and sadly that is complex and requires some analysis and study.

            So of course, it cannot just be directed at the sick and disabled on benefits, it goes further and deeper than that!

          • xtasy 11.2.1.1.2

            weka – nobody stops you from going over it and present a simpler, better targeted and easier to read summary. I invite you to do it!

            • weka 11.2.1.1.2.1

              My disability prevents me xtasy. QED.

              (would otherwise be quite interested in what you suggest).

              • xtasy

                Weka – fair enough, you are at least informed, alert and contribute by commenting on these issues here and on probably a few other forums. Thanks for that – always!

                I just watched this program on the “reforms” in the UK, which gives an interesting perspective.

    • Jenny 11.3

      Both Helen Kelly and Hone Harawira in their speeches to the Auckland Town hall meeting informed us that the surveillance and spying on the working poor and beneficiaries is more oppressive than most of us in better circumstances have experienced. And has been going on for a long time.

      One example, (that both forgot to mention). Is the campaign by the government to privatise the state rental stock. Government surveillance and threats are being used to evict state tenants in the Glen Innes and Pamure area so that their houses can be demolished and removed and the land sold to private developers.

      How it works is this: Housing New Zealand spies, determine which state tenants in the targeted area for demolition and sell off, have more than the registered number of tenants staying in their home. The registered tenant is then sent warnings that they will be charged with fraud unless they get out. If they refuse to leave, police are sent around to evict them on grounds of criminal fraud for having people not deemed eligible for state housing living there..

      So why are people illegally doubling up in state rentals?

      Because there are not enough affordable rentals. The government are making this worse by deliberately shrinking the State Housing rental stock. Which leads to more doubling up, and overcrowding, which leads to more threats, and more evictions, and more demolitions. All the while the private developers who are John Keys mates, are rubbing their hands in delight. State House rents which act as a brake on high private rents are disappearing from the Auckland housing market. The increased demand for private rentals is seeing private rents sky rocket. Property values are set by what sort of rents they can command. So house prices rise to unaffordable levels. In a vicious cycle this results in more people in the rental housing market. And at the bottom homelessness and moving in with your family or relatives who might still be lucky to have a State House, but which then opens them up to charges of fraud which makes them vulnerable to the Housing New Zealand snoops. So how does Housing New Zealand know who should or shouldn’t be in a state house? By matching up metadata. Laws past in recent years has permitted the open sharing of information held by differing branches of government freely to all other branches of government. This could be anything traffic infringement notices ACC payments IRD personal information. Anything with your address on it.

      So does all this already existing oppressive surveillance and victimisation of the the less well off, mean we shouldn’t be concerned that this sort of surveillance is now being extended to all New Zealanders despite their income or circumstances? (which is one of the inference’s you could take from Hone Harawira’s speech in particular).

      No certainly not.

      Orcon founder and millionaire Seeby Woodhouse who also spoke against the bill at the Auckland Town Hall meeting. Talking about countries worse off than us for civil liberties. Woodhouse put it this way: He said that if we go down this path, those in worse circumstances than us will be pushed down even further.

      • bad12 11.3.1

        Jenny, while i agree with your prognosis that the current Government is aiding the high cost of housing, particularly in the Auckland market by deliberately removing State Housing from areas so as to allow for private sector interests access to the land you have got some of your comment wrong in Fact,

        The State House equation is simple, when there are enough State Houses in an area there are less tenants available to be exploited by Landlords, if Landlords do not have tenants to exploit they will have a lowered interest in purchasing further property’s as rental investments, when demand from would be Landlords is quashed more property will become available for Home Buyers and prices will stabilize,

        Obviously at least National have no desire for the above to occur as the higher the prices of houses go the better the figures for ‘Economic Growth’ look on paper, unfortunately i suspect that Labour are also conflicted by this equation which is why their ‘Flagship’ policy mentions not State Housing but instead promises to shoe-horn into home ownership the children of the middle class who have in the past 20 years transferred 100,000 previous ‘homes’ into ‘rental investments’ off of the back of a State Housing shortage in the realm of 30,000+ homes,

        The ‘Fact’ which you wrongly posit???, Housing New Zealand does not have the legal power to restrict who besides the tenant lives at the address, what Housing New Zealand require is that they are informed of WHO resides at the address AND the rent for that address will be 25% of HOUSEHOLD income up to an agreed market rent,

        So, as that is the conditions of renting a Housing New Zealand property it is then the onus of the Tenant to tell Housing New Zealand that they have ‘others’ residing at the address and the rent for the property will be adjusted to take into account the income of the ‘others’ at the address as well as the tenant…

        • Jenny 11.3.1.1

          Housing New Zealand does not have the legal power to restrict who besides the tenant lives at the address, what Housing New Zealand require is that they are informed of WHO resides at the address AND the rent for that address will be 25% of HOUSEHOLD income up to an agreed market rent

          bad 12

          Mere quibbling.

          1/ I have it on good authority that Housing New Zealand do not use this surveillance in areas where they are not trying to evict tennants to redevelop the land.

          2/ Many of the registered owners don’t tell Housing New Zealand that they have tenants other than themselves crammed in their home because they know that it will lead to an increase in their rents. The point is that they are crowded together because they can’t afford to pay more.

          Many of the working poor have not had decent wage rises that compete with inflation in more than a decade. Those on fixed incomes ie. beneficiaries are just that on fixed incomes.

          Many young people in this area and I imagine in other areas find it very difficult to get a benefit at all even if they can find no work. Many of these young people with no income at all are crammed in with friends and relatives.

          The fact is just like the GCSB law many of those on low income as well as being marginalised are being criminalised. The government through spying find and exploit this vulnerability to help their developer mates clear state tenants out of their homes.

          • bad12 11.3.1.1.1

            Jenny mere quibbling about your mere lying it may be but you are in error on FACTS, and erring in such a manner is of no service to Housing NZ tenants,

            Your point at (1), you have no evidence that surveillance is being used as a tool to evict tenants of State Houses what-so-ever, the fact is that ALL the tenants recently ‘evicted’ from housing where the land is destined to be passed to the private sector have been offered other HousingNZ tenancies, and while i despise this National Government’s tacticd of destroying parts of the States Housing estate in Auckland simply to keep the prices of housing high while lining the pockets of it’s developer buddies stooping to bullshit to oppose such trickery from this National Government is facile to say the least,

            Your point (2), Total bullshit again, i assume you mean ‘registered tenants’, rubbish, if the ‘other’ people the tenant of the property has allowed to stay are on a benefit and also registered as part of the tenancy with HousingNZ, HousingNZ will arrange to deduct rent of 25% of income from ‘the other people’s’ benefits just as they now do for the main tenant of the property, in such a situation the main tanant of the property will pay no more than they currently pay,

            The rest of your rant is just that a rant without much fact, you talk of young people without an income, which bit of HousingNZ charging 25% of Household income up to a market rent do you fail to comprehend, if a tenant has a young person with NO income staying with them, HousingNZ has no legal basis to collect rent off of that person, But, the tenant still has a legal requirement to inform HousingNZ that the person is residing permanently at the tenancy,

            Your last paragraph is garbled rubbish which tries to connect the GCSB law into the plight of HousingNZ tenants but if there is any tenuous connection it is obliterated by your grubby garbled misuse of the English language…

  11. amirite 12

    John Key says – The Law society, Anne Salmond, the Human Rights Commission, the Opposition Parties and all the people who are against the GCSB law don’t understand the law.

    There it is people, your PM thinks you’re all stupid and misinformed. Time to give him a kick in the arse, yes?

    Yes!

  12. do any of those tory-toads have the slightest qualms/queasiness about their roles in turning nz intoa surveillance-state..?

    ..d’yareckon..?

    ..and good on russel norman for vowing that a new govt will overturn this law..

    ..and didya see mallard claim on that late-nite chat/quizz show backbenchs last night..

    ..that ‘the standard’ is ‘largely a green party blog’..?

    ..and that his colleagues told him to stop posting on red alert..?

    ..but perhaps the shocker from these mp’s..was their answers when asked where they got their news and information from..

    ..and..brace yrslves..!..’cos for most of them..’stuff’ seems to be about it..

    ..which does help explain a bit..really..

    ..phillip ure..

    • Jackal 13.1

      Not the best performance by Mallard on Backbench’s for sure. Although his fellow MPs likely did ask him to stop posting, saying so publicly isn’t a good look.

      In my opinion, letting the politicians run amok on the interwebs is the best way to determine which ones have brain cells. There is no buffer of the MSM between them and the public. That’s why I’m somewhat glad National MPs like Simon Bridges are using services like twitter and Facebook more often, because they’re making themselves look like total idiots!

      I owe you an apology btw phillip ure. It appears my claim that the Labour leadership issue was dead was entirely wrong, for obvious reasons.

    • BM 14.1

      He’ll be out in 10.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Possibly. But only if the US veers away from its current surveillance state path.

      • Suitably Clueless 14.1.2

        He doesn’t deserve to spend a minute in any prison.

        • grumpy 14.1.2.1

          In some other countries he wouldn’t be – they have the death penalty for this sort of thing.

        • bad12 14.1.2.2

          True, every day that Manning spends in a jail cell is a day of shame for the Prez Barak Obama, jailing Manning for exposing the murder of innocent Iraqi children by laughing soldiers operating from a helicopter gunship has to be the low point of the Obama Presidency,

          Manning’s lawyers today called for the President to pardon Manning and anyone who has the smallest speck of belief in Justice would agree with this call,

          US Presidents get to pardon all sorts of people when the term of their Presidency has reached it’s end, Manning should sit atop the current Presidents list of pardons once He is at the point of leaving the White House…

  13. xtasy 15

    So Barack Obama may due to that deserve the DEATH penalty, will he not? And the same may be dealt out to those that do disregard human rights and whatever. They may sanctimoniously talk about Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran and so forth, but what damned values do the US bloody stand for?

    No faith no more is my answer, and I have NO faith in any imperial power, and that definitely includes Mainland China too, to avoid any errors.

    This world is a hideous place now, and citizens have to take action in each other’s place, but again, most will be convenient cowards, like most Kiwis are anyway, sadly. I have nothing to lose and am ready to do almost anything, so read this too GCSB, SIS and John Key, yesterday you drew the lines in the sand, and I know where I bloody stand. I am waiting for New Zealanders to take a stand, but expect NADA in that regard, given past experience.

    • xtasy 15.1

      This is, without misunderstanding, and I have worked on this for 3 years, a declaration, that I have nothing to lose, and that is very serious and for real, if anybody dares to understand! My body will be a a “weapon” of “self-defence” for a fight for freedom and democracy, whenever it is necessary!

    • xtasy 15.2

      I am non violent by the way, a bit like Gandhi sort of, I suppose Key and gang understand, but that is the greatest threat they fear, really, CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!

      • BM 15.2.1

        If you don’t mind me asking, what injury or illness are you suffering from?

        • xtasy 15.2.1.1

          My solid condition is “anti fascist and anti conservative alllergy”! One strain is called “BM” by the way!

        • Tiger Mountain 15.2.1.2

          Tell him nothing xtasy, BM seems to imagine he is a medical doctor, while in fact just an average dirty filthy tory.

  14. xtasy 16

    48 hours without sleep, in over-drive, overworked, stressed, exhausted, perhaps after weeks my eyes will drop and allow for a bit of sleep.

    Thanks all for putting up with me, I need a solid break, work has been done, heaps, those who know me will be informed, I am sinking into the cushions and onto the mattress now, defeat, exhausted, finito, kind of. But strength will be regained and gathered, so tomorrow or in a few days, I may be back.

    Never give up, viva, viva, viva, el pueblo unido – jamas cera vencido!

    • Tracey 16.1

      Don’t worry Xstasy, Collins and Tolley and Banks to the rescue… they will wake up this morning and be hounded by the press to explain their horror at the idea their emails could be released and voting against the GCSB. There will be a wholesale release of all their emails because they have nothing to hide and nothing to fear….

      • Mary 16.1.1

        Banks and Henare referred to Shearer as “useless”. That’s great coming from them. Really looking forward to seeing Banks successfully convicted under the private prosecution and the inevitable by-election that’ll cause.

        • xtasy 16.1.1.1

          Mary – Some must have read the horoscope this morning! Following onto that, the “useless” may also soon be called upon.

    • Winston Smith 16.2

      No worries about putting up with you, its quite amusing so keep posting

  15. vto 17

    Hands up who would like a business where your profit relative to revenue went like this example…

    Revenue $300,000 per annum
    Deduct hard costs needed to earn that income of $100,000
    Profit equals $200,000
    From that profit pay any costs associated with your ownership of that business such as loans etc. No loans, no more costs.

    Wouldn’t it be grand? You would think that in a free market world such a business model would lead to countless competitors setting up to take advantage and hence revenue would lower due to competitors offering the same service / product at lower price. This is after all how the system operates, right?

    Well no, wrong. Wrong so wrong.

    Auckland Airport numbers fit into that model in this way

    Revenue $450,000,000
    Deduct hard costs to earn that income of $150,000,000
    Profit equals $300,000,000

    Rort on a grand scale? Monopolistic situation? Taking advantage of the lack of competition? Charging almost the minimum wage per hour to park your car on some asphalt?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      all this infrastructure should be owned and operated in the public good. It once was.

      • vto 17.1.1

        Yep, the free market model is only useful for simpleton things like the supply of plastic buckets.

      • grumpy 17.1.2

        Sometimes this “public good” translates into “let’s price gouge and rip a captive market off so we can spend the money on something we think is really, really important”.

        • Draco T Bastard 17.1.2.1

          That’s why we have transparency in our SOEs – so we can see what they’re spending our money on.

          BTW, over the last few years since deregulation and it’s sale Telecom have pushed more than $17b dollars out as dividends this has resulted in us a) paying billions of dollars of taxpayer money for the network we should have and b) paying too much for telecommunications. Those dividends match perfectly with your “let’s price gouge and rip a captive market off so we can spend the money on something we think is really, really important” and show the dead weight loss of profit.

    • grumpy 17.2

      Can’t argue with that vto. You don’t think lack of competition has something to do with it? Maybe there should be another, competing airport????

      • Tracey 17.2.1

        Good idea, it worked for the electricity industry… oh wait…

        • grumpy 17.2.1.1

          I have previously posted comments on what a dysfunctional artifical market the so-called electricity industry is.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.2.2

        You don’t think lack of competition has something to do with it?

        Nope, natural monopolies don’t get any benefit from competition.

        Maybe there should be another, competing airport?

        Only if you want to increase costs.

    • tc 17.3

      They offered Grange Golf club some land east of existing runway to help them ‘exit’ their existing course as those lovely fletcher folk wanted to build some much needed housing stock.

      Went down badly with grange and aviation club members…..big boys and their powerful corporate toys.

  16. Winston Smith 18

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/08/the_gcsb_law.html

    Interesting reading, Farrer looks at the 2003 law and the 2013 law and shows the comparisons

    • Tracey 18.1

      but overlooks that the PM, with a few words, could have put a lot of opposition to bed, but chose not to. WHY?

      He also knows that most who are spied on illegally or at all wont know, so can’t sue to challenge the Act.

      Farrar’s views on this have been interesting, but it’s dangerous to consider his interpretation as gospel.

      • Winston Smith 18.1.1

        Who knows but the way I’m reading it is the 2013 law has clarified (legitimised?) a lot of grey and possibly illegal stuff thats been happening in NZ for probably decades which is good and if it still doesn’t go far enough Labour will get their turn in 2017

        • Tracey 18.1.1.1

          “Who knows ” Go on Winston, branch out, give me your best guess? BTW have you read the Bill (now Act)?

        • framu 18.1.1.2

          The clarfied line is pure spin and you should know it. Your looking at one tiny part in isolation. The new law also introduces new powers and you should know it. Then combine it with the TICS bill then chuck in the timelines of the meeting with eric holder and others and the recipe you end up with isnt for cupcakes

          the old law stated that the GCSB couldnt spy on NZers. end of story. – there was some room to manufacture confusion by deliberatly thinking that a different clause got them round that. But thats only been a line pushed by those that wanted these latest changes to come into force.

          If the GCSB act was only ever meant to clear up the oh so convenient confusion then thats all it would have done and all the people pushing it wouldve had a very easy job pointing this out and arguing their corner. Yet its main cheerleader (john key) has almost always resorted to personally attacking people. What does that tell you?

          The internal and external parts of your intelligence network are kept separate for bloody good reasons – but not in NZ anymore

          • Tracey 18.1.1.2.1

            BUT Key wouldn’t add a dozen words to safeguard what he said he will safeguard. THAT seems to trigger nothing in Winston’s mind.

    • framu 18.2

      you do realise that hes paid by the national party?

      hes hardly an independant voice on the topic

  17. Adrian 20

    How much of our money did John Key give Geoff Thorn to go to relieve the pressure on himself? . Key is the architypical bullying boss that everyone who works for, hates.
    My bet is that it was at least $1.5 million.

  18. bad12 21

    Nice point from Green Party leader Metiria Turei in today’s Herald online, the Ministry of Education has released advice it gave to Paula Bennett befor She launched Her abysmal attack upon recipients of the DPB,

    The Education Ministry advice was that even without the rush of DPB mums trying to enroll their kids in Early Childhood Education there were waiting lists where 20% of kids were having to wait 3 months or longer for the limited places available and that forcing DPB dependent kids to be enrolled would exacerbate the already dire position of a shortage of capacity,

    Bennett tho, who obviously doesn’t give a big fat f**k about anything other than having beneficiaries en masse running round looking for Jobs or placements for the kids in Early Childhood Learning Centers that don’t actually exist went right on ahead with the requirement along with gleefully outlining the penalty’s involved with not having the kids enrolled,

    If Bennett had of had an ounce of concern about the Ministry of Education advice She would have gone to the Cabinet and pointed out the impossibility of the proposed regulation and demanded funding to increase the number of Early Childhood centers to match the expected increase in the numbers applying, She was after all is in possession of all the FACTS,

    i posted a comment here last week about the abysmal treatment National Governments just can’t seem to help themselves meting out to beneficiaries in general and pointed out that once the effects of such attacks, for attacks is what they become even in the unlikely event that attacks are simply the unintended consequences of ill thought through changes, there is an inevitable backlash from within the electorate ads they are confronted with the increasingly ugly effects of such changes/attacks,

    The recent Roy Morgan Poll where this National Government has taken ‘a hit’ in it’s popularity of 7% seems to attest somewhat to the unease with which the electorate is viewing the Governments (mis)treatment of beneficiaries, although you have to read the nitty gritty details to gain this sense from that Roy Morgan Poll,

    Morgan Himself cites the GCSB legislation as the reason for the Governments sudden and dramatic loss of support in this Poll, Roy however has ignored much of His own data in coming to this conclusion, and i quote,

    ”The dominant economic issues facing New Zealand are POVERTY/ Gap between Rich and Poor, (15% UP 6%), unquote,

    i would dare suggest that the issues surrounding the GCSB Legislation will fade into the background over the next few months, but, that part of the Roy Morgan Poll being an ‘economic issue’ will not and the 6% rise in concern nearly matches the slide in polled popularity for this Government,

    This far out from November 2014 do i dare suggest we start a book on who will be the next Leader of the Opposition, Judith Collins, Bill English, or a compromise Maurice Williamson…

  19. weka 22

    Bomber putting out a rallying cry on what we can do now post-GCSB bill (edited bits):

    If you as a New Zealander are horrified by what has happened, if you see this as a step towards a NZ you don’t recognize, if the ability of the State to spy upon us all and share it with America breaches the values of independence you believe our country should stand for, then here’s what I suggest.

    A 3 pronged approach.

    1: Repeal the Bill at the 2014 election:
    Call upon every opposition MP to signal before the 2014 election if they will vote to repeal the legislation. Every week until the election the Blogs will post up the names of all those opposition MPs who will repeal the legislation and all those who won’t. We will advise people not to vote for those opposition MPs who will not repeal the Bill. Take the public Town Hall speaking tour around the main cities and provinces in the lead up to the election culminating in Auckland in the week of the election.

    2: Close the Waihopai Spy Base – America out of NZ
    The pressure to spy on us domestically is being driven by Washington, not Wellington. With Key’s refusal to confirm or deny if the NSA is subsidizing the GCSB and with the Snowden revelations growing and not diminishing, it is time to tell the Americans they can stick their spy base the same place they stuck their nuclear ships.

    How would we close it down?

    What do we do better than anything else in NZ? We do casual. What if this Summer in January a vast tent city of NZers converged upon Waihopai and set up a massive ring of tents around the entire Base and just occupied it? Show America they are no longer welcome here and they can have their 5th eye back thanks. Social media could convey their voices, the media attention during Summer would be intense and the Summer action could lead into the Autumn Public Town Hall speaking tour. Logistics would have to be sorted out, but a mass tent city protesting against the Spy Base would send a clear signal and shift the focus in the election year.

    ….

    3: The creation of a cyber Bill of Rights
    We desperately need a cyber Bill of Rights to protect our interests, our privacy and our online civil liberties. We need to demand telcos join in on defending and promoting these cyber Bill of Rights and we demand Government entrenches it within the NZ Bill of Rights and that the Human Rights Commission receive extra funding to promote and stand up for those cyber civil liberties.

    We have some of the brightest techies and legal minds to grapple with and generate a cyber Bill of Rights that we could all be proud of as NZers. Women fought and gained universal suffrage, workers fought and gained the 40 hour week and baby boomers fought and kept us nuclear free.

    It is our responsibility now to make a stand and use this terrible step towards a mass surveillance state as momentum to shape our future in a manner befitting the egalitarian and social justice values our democracy should champion.

    -freedom of online expression
    -freedom of online peaceful assembly
    -freedom of online association
    -freedom of online thought, conscience, religion and belief.
    -freedom from mass surveillance
    -right to privacy
    -right to free community high speed access to internet via all schools, libraries, community centers and Maraes.

    If you support this – share it with all your friends and whanau, because only a grass roots keyboard campaign will generate the kind of mass momentum we would need to win.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/08/21/the-gcsb-bill-has-passed-if-you-refuse-to-accept-that-heres-what-i-think-we-should-do-next

    Any chance Bomber’s post could go up as a guest post, or a Notice so we can discuss it here?

    • Rosie 22.1

      Hi Weka. May I suggest a walk over to the neighbours for a chat on their side of the fence? I thought it was a worthy post too, with many useful points. There is a lot to discuss around these ideas and I’ve only replied to one person due to time constraints today but it would be good to see the input of folks that don’t usually comment on the TDB. Liven things up a little! The more voices the better:-)

      • weka 22.1.1

        Hi Rosie, I’ll see how I go. I’m not averse to commenting at TDB, but feel more at home here, and would like to discuss this with people I know better.

        • Rosie 22.1.1.1

          Thats understandable weka.

          I do have my reservations about commenting on TDB: By the time I come out of moderation, which has been up to 7 hours, the tide has gone out on the conversation, or when my comments do get posted in a timely way no one engages with me, even when I’m seeking other’s views or clarifications or I just get heaps of down votes, lol. So it is a bit discouraging. However I like sampling the different flavours of authors and commenters. I’m always curious to know what others are thinking and feeling.

  20. felix 24

    What’s up with this 1.30 Shearer press conference? Is he stepping down?

    Or has he decided to win the election (repeal the GCSB Act)?

    • bad12 24.1

      RadioNZ confirming just now that Labour are in an ‘urgent Caucus’, my first thought, was the ‘secret meeting’ between Shearer and Slippery the Prime Minister over the GCSB legislation also a well kept secret hidden from the Labour Caucus…

  21. So now that david shearer is set to resign, will people here say sorry to the Journos they ripped into for getting this right a month ago.

    • felix 25.1

      They got it wrong a month ago Brett.

      If you know any journos who got it right today then by all means give them a bikkie.

      • Brett Dale 25.1.1

        No they didnt they didnt say it would happen on that day, they said its coming up, they were right, people here and on twitter were wrong.

        I guess National supporters are hoping Labour makes Goff their labour, it will be a landslide to national if that happens.

        • felix 25.1.1.1

          Lolz Brett, most of the commenters here have been calling for Shearer to step down for two years.

          In other news: I predict fine weather, maybe not today, but sometime.

          Now where’s my bikkie?

  22. jaymam 26

    It’s time for Cunliffe, although I do like David Parker.

    • bad12 26.1

      David Parker, you are kidding right, Parker is conspicuous by his absence and cannot even match it with bill from Dipton simply because His economic prescription possesses only a sliver of difference when compared to bill’s…

  23. The amount of people here who ripped on the Journalists that said this would’nt happen, who went on twitter laughing at those Journalists, must real damn stupid right about now.

    • Pascal's bookie 27.1

      No Brett. Garner was wrong. He claimed it was happening that night, and then that weekend.

      No one said it wouldn’t happen at some point.

      • Brett Dale 27.1.1

        Pascal:

        No, he didnt give the actual date.

        • McFlock 27.1.1.1

          The date was implicit in how long it takes to get 18-odd signatures on a letter.
          There was no letter.
          Garner was full of shit.

          Shearer was not challenged by a no-confidence vote.
          He stood down of his own volition.
          Garner was full of shit.

          • bad12 27.1.1.1.1

            ”Of His own volition” seriously Mac???, i pick that Dave who didn’t bother to tell the Green Party about His little tete a tete with Slippery the Prime Minister over the GCSB Legislation also forgot to mention it to His own Party,

            It would be totally fitting that should this have been the truth of the matter that the ‘Narking’ of Slippery the Prime Minister leads to the election of the other Dave who’s many supporters believe can rub the Slippery little Shysters face in the dirt of His own deceit and lead to the ‘Nark’s’ ultimate defeat in next years election…

            • McFlock 27.1.1.1.1.1

              Maybe.
              Maybe the latest poll plus the response to his experiment with gimmicks in the House going down like, er, a dead fish was enough for him to call it a day.

              Hell, maybe there was even a nc vote in caucus to give him the push. Who knows. But he resigned with dignity, rather than being dragged kicking and screaming and holding on to the paycheque for as long as possible (Brash, anyone?). And even if it’s a polite fib, everyone in caucus at least has the good grace to continue to respect his (and their own) dignity.

            • Jackal 27.1.1.1.1.2

              This was clearly not a coup as such bad12. I think the fact that Labour hasn’t increased much in the polls and that Shearer has lost some support from the caucus are the main reasons for his resignation. I also think he is a bit sick of getting such a hard time.

              Shearer wasn’t required to let Labour or the Greens en masse know when a meeting between GCSB committee members was held. GCSB committee members meeting isn’t usually out of the ordinary and would certainly not result in Shearer’s resignation. What is discussed within GCSB committee meetings is meant to be kept confidential anyway.

              Don’t tell me you actually believe what Key was claiming the other day?

        • felix 27.1.1.2

          “Pascal:

          No, he didnt give the actual date.”

          Brett, he did so. He went on the radio saying it was all going down right now. Then when it didn’t, he said it would happen by the end of the week. He was wrong.

          Now give me my fucking bikkie.

  24. leftbutnotdeluded 28

    Shearer gone…… about bloody time. Nice chap but too politically “green” … as in newbie not Green.

  25. jaymam 29

    Shearer has just said that he resigns because he does not have the confidence of his caucus. The new leader is not decided yet.

    I don’t think that Robertson or Little will get more public support than Shearer. I believe that Cunliffe could be the only one capable of winning a debate with Key.

  26. Boy will the new labour leader want to answer questions?, unlike shearer

  27. lprent 31

    The site is now page caching to cope with the load of everyone wanting to access it at the same time.

    There may be a few side-effects

    • lprent 31.1

      Ok, hopefully I have excluded the mobile stuff from the cache.

      That should mean that the only people with issues will be those who aren’t logged in not getting their cached cookie information.

  28. Jenny 32

    “Against Stupidity the Gods themselves contend in vain”

    Friedrich Schiller 1759 – 1805

    It is all but certain that human activity has caused a steady increase in global temperatures over the past 60 years, leading to warmer oceans and an acceleration in sea-level rise, according to the most recent climate change report by an international panel of scientists…..

    …..A report on Maryland sea-level rise released in June by the state’s Climate Change Commission estimated that the rise would range from slightly less than a foot to two feet by 2050, and from two to six feet by 2100, depending on several factors, including glacial ice melt.

    Up to six feet of sea-level rise can be devastating when effects from storm surge are factored in, said Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

    In addition to projections, the document reported several facts. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by more than 20
    percent since 1958 and 40 percent since 1750, “virtually all due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and a small contribution from cement production”.
    DARRYL FEARS stuff.co.nz, 21 August 2013

    But what does New Zealand do?

    Cancels a project that would inject $115m into household incomes over its construction period, create over a thousand permanent jobs, and power 170,000 New Zealand homes with renewable energy.

    Why?

    Because planet destroying coal fired electricity is so cheap and abundant


    “Waikato windfarm backtrack costs hundreds of jobs
    Estimated 1033 jobs blown away”

    …..Waikato District Council Mayor Allan Sanson said he was not too surprised by the news.

    “It was always going to be marginal in relation to the fact that there was already generating capacity and surplus available.”

    Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandra Perry said the news was just another disappointment for the region, especially for those in the energy sector following last week’s Huntly Coal Mine lay-offs.

    There you have it. Not only is the bankrupt coal industry laying off workers. It is keeping another 1033 hundred others out of work.

    It is way past time that the government rationalised the real cost of coal, in real terms of human misery, illness and death, pollution and climate damage. To reflect the reals cost of fossil fuels and make renewables competitive.

    If any government had foresight vision and the guts to do this. Renewables would then become viable, creating tens of thousands of new jobs.

    Instead our leaders crawl on their bellies to the fossil fuel moguls, at every opportunity. Instead of investing in renewables, politicians offer the polluters $multimillion subsidiesto come here to plunder our natural resources to increase pollution and to continue our dependence on fossil fuels.

    When New Zealand could be, and should be leading the world in showing that there is an alternative.

    Humanity is facing an existential crisis like none ever faced before, we have no need for the corporate suits, or bureaucratically appointed leaders who have leadership handed to them.

    We are at a cross roads.

    We need leaders leaders with vision leaders with courage and conviction. Leaders with passion, leaders with boldness, inspired and informed by the past. But solidly rooted in the real world.

    Leaders with a mandate to act.

    We need political scrappers

    Unafraid to fight for that mandate.

    Their task to overcome the impasse that sees humanity careering down a road to destruction, and put us on another track.

    [Bunji: Moved to Open Mike as nothing to do with post.]

  29. Anne 33

    I have to fill in my name etc. each time I comment. Only just started. Having big trouble trying to link to specific comments. Just saying…

  30. Draco T Bastard 34

    This is The Economist’s response to David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs. The Economist makes a couple of points but, IMO, completely misses what Graeber is saying:

    If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job. Real, productive workers are relentlessly squeezed and exploited. The remainder are divided between a terrorised stratum of the, universally reviled, unemployed and a larger stratum who are basically paid to do nothing, in positions designed to make them identify with the perspectives and sensibilities of the ruling class (managers, administrators, etc) – and particularly its financial avatars – but, at the same time, foster a simmering resentment against anyone whose work has clear and undeniable social value. Clearly, the system was never consciously designed. It emerged from almost a century of trial and error. But it is the only explanation for why, despite our technological capacities, we are not all working 3-4 hour days.

    • bad12 34.1

      Well said, instead of dividing the ‘actual’ available productive work among all those able to be gainfully employed we have instead raced backward to an era where the criminalization of the unemployed is but a mere step away,

      The divide is as easy to see as those who have that degree are the pampered and those who do not are increasingly marginalized with Legislation aimed at making employment for those with less than a degree a matter of rotation…

  31. Jenny 35

    The Labour Party is at a cross roads

    The country is at a cross roads

    The world is at a cross roads

    Humanity is at a cross roads

    Which way will we go?

    It is all but certain that human activity has caused a steady increase in global temperatures over the past 60 years, leading to warmer oceans and an acceleration in sea-level rise, according to the most recent climate change report by an international panel of scientists…..

    …..A report on Maryland sea-level rise released in June by the state’s Climate Change Commission estimated that the rise would range from slightly less than a foot to two feet by 2050, and from two to six feet by 2100, depending on several factors, including glacial ice melt.

    Up to six feet of sea-level rise can be devastating when effects from storm surge are factored in, said Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

    In addition to projections, the document reported several facts. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by more than 20
    percent since 1958 and 40 percent since 1750, “virtually all due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and a small contribution from cement production”.

    DARRYL FEARS stuff.co.nz, 21 August 2013

    What does New Zealand do?

    We cancel a project that would inject $115m into household incomes over its construction period, create over a thousand permanent jobs, and would when completed power 170,000 New Zealand homes with renewable energy.

    Why?

    Because planet destroying coal fired electricity is so cheap and abundant

    “Waikato windfarm backtrack costs hundreds of jobs”
    “Estimated 1033 jobs blown away”

    …..Waikato District Council Mayor Allan Sanson said he was not too surprised by the news.

    “It was always going to be marginal in relation to the fact that there was already generating capacity and surplus available.”

    Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandra Perry said the news was just another disappointment for the region, especially for those in the energy sector following last week’s Huntly Coal Mine lay-offs.

    JENNA LYNCH AND CHRIS GARDNER
    Stuff.co.nz

    There you have it. Not only is the bankrupt coal industry laying off workers. It is keeping another 1033 hundred others out of work.

    It is way past time that our leaders in government rationalised the real cost of coal, the cost in human misery, illness and death, and the cost of pollution and climate damage. To justly reflect the real cost of fossil fuels and to make renewables competitive.

    If any government had foresight vision and the guts to do this. Renewables would then become viable, creating tens of thousands of new jobs.

    Instead our leaders crawl on their bellies to the fossil fuel moguls at every opportunity. Instead of investing in renewables, politicians offer the polluters $multimillion subsidies to come here to plunder our natural resources, to increase pollution, and to continue our dependence on fossil fuels.

    Humanity is facing an existential crisis like none ever faced before, we have no need for the corporate suits, or bureaucratically appointed leaders who have leadership handed to them.

    We need leaders leaders with vision, leaders with courage and conviction. Leaders with passion, leaders with boldness, inspired and informed by the past. But solidly rooted in the real world. Well aware of the danger we are in, and of the necessary measures needed to combat it.

    Leaders with a mandate to act.

    We need political scrappers

    Unafraid to fight for that mandate.

    Their task to overcome the impasse that sees humanity careening down a road to certain destruction, and put us on another, safer saner track.

    [lprent: Way off topic. Moved to OpenMike. If I see this type of grandstanding in a hot post again, then you may wind up with a holiday. ]

    • bad12 35.1

      LOLZ you are a devil for punishment, didn’t this comment already get shunted over to Open Mike???…

    • Jenny 35.2

      To frightened to talk about the issues Lynn?

      As if the existential issue of climate change is not at stake.

      Cunliffe is the only parliamentarian to raise the issue of climate change in a meaningful way. Even the Greens are prepared to put it to the back burner in exchange for cabinet seats.

      What do you call this again?

      Politics 101, I recall.

      Crass pragmatic opportunism might be a better description.

      Cunliffe despite being the members choice has Little chance of becoming the new leader. And your actions are making sure of it.

      • chris73 35.2.1

        As much as I mock the people on here (gentle mocking because I love you all dearly :)) I do have to say that suggesting this blog might be responsible for Cunliffe not becoming leader is just a little…otp

        Although if Labour put out a short-term contract to someone like Colonial Viper as an adviser they’d probably do a bit better in the polls

      • Jenny 35.2.2

        Gone all quiet lynn?

        • Jenny 35.2.2.1

          Helping us sleepwalk into a leadership and later election campaign where the question of climate change is not an issue. Is giving a victory to the climate change ignorers.

          I hope you can sleep well?

          • Colonial Viper 35.2.2.1.1

            Jenny the fossil fuels/climate change issue is a global civilisation ending issue, you might as well say that Rome would have held together if they’d had different senators.

            • Jenny 35.2.2.1.1.1

              Or that England would have won the war if they didn’t have leadership like Churchill.

              I hear this all the time. That there is nothing we can do to change the direction we are headed.

              But these decisions are made by human beings just like us.

              I understand where you are coming from. But sometimes qualitative does trump quantitative and leadership can make a difference.

              Nothing is set in stone.

              And political will can make difference.

              And that is what is missing.

              • Jenny

                Still silence from Lynn obviously my plaintive twittering down here in the obliette hasn’t reached up that far yet.

                • bad12

                  Nah your plaintive twittering’s are more than likely being ignored as rubbish not worthy of the energy needed to reply to your attempts at martyrdom…

              • But these decisions are made by human beings just like us.

                Just like the atheists want to to think. Atheism, humanity and corruption are directly linked to each other. On the other hand society has the capacity to enjoy liberty and to meaningfully shape the future.

                • TheContrarian

                  Sorry, what?

                  “Just like the atheists want to to think. Atheism, humanity and corruption are directly linked to each other”

                  What the fuck does this have anything to do anything? Where does atheism come into this?

            • Jenny 35.2.2.1.1.2

              At a time when the whole ruling elite of Britain were fully behind the policy of appeasement and some indeed were Nazis or Nazi sympathisers. Churchill’s leadership changed all that.

              To act collectively humans need leaders, it is not because we are sheep but that they recognise that not much can be achieved by one sole human acting alone.

              Every thing worthwhile that can be done by humans takes team work, whether its building a road or a house or an ocean liner or 747. And teamwork requires leadership. It’s inescapable.

  32. Draco T Bastard 36

    And it seems that the Holiday highway is becoming even more worthless:

    In recent times the argument that the project will benefit Northland has become even more stretched – because it seems as though the Warkworth-Wellsford section is encountering huge problems with geotechnical stability.

    It seems that perhaps Northlanders are waking up to the fact that the project which was supposed to have a transformational effect on their economy is slowly but surely evolving into what its critics have called it all along – little more than a “holiday highway”.

    Yep, even the Northlanders are waking up to the fact that this Road of National (party) Significance will do absolutely nothing for them.

  33. joe90 37

    The wonderful Stephen Fry dishes it out.

    But there’s form here. The Mail still can’t quite live with the shame that it has always, always been historically wrong about everything – large and small – from Picasso to equal pay for women. Because it has always been against progress, the liberalising of attitudes, modern art and strangers (whether by race, gender or sexuality). Of course they’ll leap on a Stephen Lawrence bandwagon once the seeds of their decades of anti-immigration racism (read a 1960s or 1970s Daily Mail) have been sown, but deep down they have always come from the same place and had the same instinct for the lowest, most mean-spirited, hypocritical, spiteful and philistine elements of our island nation.

    Most notoriously of all, they loved Adolf Hitler when he came to power, and as the Czech crisis arose they were the appeasement newspaper. And woe-betide any liberal-minded anti-fascist who warned that the man was unstable and that consistently satisfying his vanity, greed and ambition was only storing up trouble. The whole liberal left, not to mention Winston Churchill, were mocked and scorned for their instinctive distrust of Hitler. The Daily Mail knew better.

    http://stephen-fry-me.tumblr.com/post/57805910021/the-daily-mail-and-lord-dacre-appeasing-again

  34. chris73 38

    – Heres one Collins might need to watch in the future…

  35. Rednex 39

    Yeah right! I suppose I should check the link to see if it goes to your own bank account! NZ Council disenfranchises members without notice – Ha!

    [lprent: Dickhead fool. How exactly could you check the bank account.

    Moved to OpenMike as being off topic. And you are banned (whoever you are) until after the election for both being a dickhead and suggesting that I’m a thief. ]

    • Jenny 39.1

      To bad you don’t do it to all those who suggest I am a liar. (or make a comparison with Gilchrist).

      Don’t try to stop me trying to make climate change an election issue.

      Politics 101 means extinction.

      • lprent 39.1.1

        Jenny: Read the about / policy. It is quite specific about who we are and what we defend.

        The latter pretty much comes down to defending the site, its authors and the right for people to make intelligent dicks of themselves in a sort of public way. That is because we consider that having a platform where people can argue with each other vehemently is useful for the political dialogue in this country. And we really don’t care that much if others agree with that position or not.

        The policy is mostly interested in making sure that 50 or so people who can author posts don’t wind up on the receiving end of the 30-40k unique visitors we get in a month – we’re vastly outnumbered. And as you are probably becoming aware having even a few people closely criticising you, your motivations, and everything you do is intensely demotivating to continuing to write or moderate. So they run into my gentle style because I really don’t want to (or have time to) write much.

        We will deal with *pointless* abuse when we see it. But that largely consists of looking to see if the person making the comment has said why they are going off like a rocket. If they don’t then they will often get a sharp warning/ban if we see them doing it too often or if it is too far over the top.

        But I’m afraid that when seeing *pointed* abuse, the only thing we get really interested in is if it affects the site and if other people outside of the tweedledum/dee “discussions” will want to read them. That means that simple rants against others are usually unproductive because they’re usually boring and repetitive – especially after you have seen a few thousand of them over a year. Satirical, humorous, or informative rants are much better received.

        We tend to insist that they are done within the context of a post because after all there is always OpenMike, where people reading it will have to put up with a lot (and many readers actively avoid).

        I’m not interested in stopping you making climate change an election issue (FFS I’ve been pointing out the implications of that since the early 80’s). I just don’t want you to divert posts from what their author intended them to talk about. That means you can really only make them the focus of your comments when they are in OpenMike or posts that are clearly related to climate change. Putting a climate change comment in the middle of post about leadership changes in the Labour party doesn’t fit regardless how much you want to protest.

        And if you wanted to look at extinction events (the earth sciences comes to the fore again) then climate change of the type that we are going to go through isn’t it. That will merely cause a dieback in some shape, manner or form and possibly cause humans to lose their current civilisation. But there simply aren’t enough sources of fossil carbon to cause an major extinction of either humans or most species. If you want to have a look at mass extinctions, then I suggest you look at the big ones. Try the start of the Cambrain, the big one in the Devonian, the Permian/Triassic boundary… Actually just look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event especially the marine extinctions (land diebacks are so common as to be kind of commonplace)

        When you do so, just consider that these only really look at the last billion years. The three and half billion before that really went to town on the biosphere wiping operations. The impacts that killed Earth one and formed the moon probably killed the bulk of living things inside the crust (still the largest biomass today). They are the later refugees from the terror of an oxygen atmosphere…

        Of course those are just the minor events compared to the possible ones. Nearby supernovas, stray strings left over from the big bang, slow moving black holes, nasty galactic sized quasars, ….. Don’t read too much science fiction.

        At least we can probably do something with self-generated climate change..

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